Emotional reactions of psychiatric staff to violent patients

M. Weiser*, Y. Levkowitch, S. Shalom, M. Neuman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Approximately 10% of psychiatric patients are violent and their violence is often directed towards the treating staff. Up to half of all psychiatrists have been physically assaulted at some time during their careers. Emotional reactions of the psychiatric staff to assault by patients vary, and include fear, anger and helplessness. Psychological defense mechanisms employed include projection, denial and isolation. For the staff, these reactions are a source of distress and a cause of burn-out. Anger can lead to nontherapeutic interventions such as counter-aggression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-645, 691
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes


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